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Arizona military recruiters ran cocaine — in uniform

How low can we go? This story is unbelievable. Tucson Army National Guard recruiters were caught on tape selling blow out of the back of recruiting vehicles.

Many of the drug-running recruiters remained on the job, with continued access to local schools, for months — and often, years — after FBI agents secretly filmed them counting cash next to stacks of cocaine bricks, the Arizona Daily Star found in a months-long probe of court records and military employment data.

Some were still recruiting three years after they first were caught on camera running drugs in uniform. Most have pleaded guilty and are to be sentenced in March. Some honorably retired from the military.

One recruiter was caught taking bribes to fix the aptitude test scores of new recruits, as well as “outreach” such as offering up a part of a kilo brick of cocaine from the cruiser trunk.

So far, no evidence has turned up that these military men were dealing to students, but the recruiters were allowed by the FBI to continue going on high school campuses after they had been documented doing the crimes.

If recruiters used data from recruiting rolls to solicit people for drug running, that’s particularly offensive, said military law expert Scott Silliman, a former senior lawyer for the Air Force who now is a law professor at Duke University. Such recruiters “took advantage of their positions to commit crime,” Silliman said. 

What’s left to hear after news about other branches of the military lowering standards and recruiting people with antisocial personality disorder, autism, and trolling for recruits on MySpace. Also welcomed into the fold are folks convicted of aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolen property and making terrorist threats. There’s not a lot left to surprise people.

And at the same time, ready, able, trained gays and lesbians are being booted (including much-needed specialists ( Arabic and Farsi). Makes a lot of sense.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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